A record number of women and girls are playing cricket across Yorkshire with a huge growth in participation over the last three years.

The Yorkshire Cricket Board (YCB) – who support the recreational and community game to develop and oversee more than 125,000 recreational players – has been central to that progress with a focus on school and community work with local clubs to ensure there are facilities, matches and training to match the needs of young girls inspired by the England Women’s team and local professional side the Northern Diamonds.

It’s prompted a major culture shift locally to make the game as inclusive as possible.

The increase in the last three years includes:

  • 14, 500 girls received coaching through the state school cricket programme via various partnerships
  • 2186 girls taking part in the ECB’s national All Stars and Dynamos programmes – up from 975 in 2020
  • 302 women’s and girl’s teams in Yorkshire – this has trebled from 2020
  • 195 women’s and girl’s club clubs in Yorkshire – up from 83 in 2020 (134.9% increase)
  • 26% of national programme participants were girls – up from 14% in 2019

The All Stars and Dynamos programmes have played a key role in getting young girls interested in cricket. This increased interest has also seen the creation of new junior league softball and hardball leagues being developed. These leagues are run by hardworking valued volunteers, who want to provide opportunities for girls to play the game.

Across Yorkshire we have more than 20 leagues that provide a women and girls offer. These run at various stages of the year, including an outdoor and indoor version. This included a finals day held at Headingley for more than 100 women and girls during the summer of 2023, which was a fantastic and inspiring day.

There was a finals day held at Headingley for more than 100 women and girls during the summer of 2023.

There was a fantastic finals day held at Headingley for more than 100 women and girls during last summer.

The Yorkshire women and girls premier league has been re-vamped and will launch with a brand new 100 competition. This will see the best teams competing countywide in exciting new formats, designed by the players and clubs.

Rob Johnson, Women & Girls Lead for YCB, said: “The growth of Women and Girl’s cricket has been extraordinary. Essentially it has trebled in size since 2020, the initial struggle of playing numbers is now long gone and the challenge is capacity and time to fit everything in.

“The huge amount of time and effort put in by volunteers across the county whether that be running clubs, leagues or community programmes has been unbelievable, this alongside support from the YCB’s Women and Girls Development Managers, has led to the huge growth we have seen.

“This will continue, and our sights are set on repeating these numbers for the next three years.”

Paul Cummins, Director of Recreational Cricket, said: “We’ve seen record numbers of women and girls picking up a bat and ball across Yorkshire in the past three years within the recreational and community game. It is testament to the hard work of clubs, leagues, volunteers, and support from the YCB team too.

“We have a solid foundation to build on and a clear journey for women and girls in cricket in Yorkshire – from schools, communities, and our thriving recreational and community game.

“It has been brilliant to see the Northern Diamonds players supporting the recreational and community game inspiring players and volunteers from across the county. As YCCC move forward with the tier 1 application we want to be able to build on this fantastic base we have across Yorkshire to realise our potential.”

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